wow stripe
Woman in coworking space with call center headset
May 15, 2024

What is Fiber Internet?



Fiber internet is an internet data transfer system based on fiber-optic technology, which sends information through light pulses along small, thin glass fibers. Fiber internet is used to increase bandwidth and data transfer speeds across long distances while maintaining high data quality. In this article, we explain what fiber internet is, how it works and how a business can benefit from using a fiber network for its internet connectivity. WOW! Business Fiber Internet provides flexible options for businesses of every size and at every stage of growth, scaling to meet the needs of your organization and delivering a fast, reliable, high-speed internet connection with exceptional customer service. Contact us to learn more.

What Are the Origins of Fiber-Optic Internet?

The idea to transmit information using light isn’t new—and in fact, the beginnings of fiber internet date back to 1880, when Alexander Graham Bell followed up his invention of the telephone with the photophone, which transmitted the sound of his voice using a beam of light. But it wasn’t until 1960 that fiber optics was first mentioned, and not until the 1980s that the first underwater fiber-optic cable was laid down, connecting the U.S. with France and England, to be used for long-distance telecommunications. As the global internet developed, the volume of traffic made it clear that the traditional copper cables would no longer suffice, which paved the way for the wider adoption of fiber-optic technology. Today, fiber internet provides the backbone for more robust broadband networks, enhancing security for eCommerce, cloud computing and other internet applications.

What Fiber-Optic Technology Offers

Fiber-optic technology provides a clearer signal with less electromagnetic interference and signal loss over greater distances than traditional copper wire cable. With a fiber-optic connection, companies can experience faster speeds and greater bandwidth that supports today’s hyper-connected, technologically advanced business environment. Fiber-optic cables are stronger and lighter than copper cables, and they don’t require as much maintenance.

How Does Fiber-Optic Internet Work?

Fiber-optic cable transmits information through light pulses, much the same way as electricity is sent through copper wire. The glass fiber-optic cables are bundled together to form larger cables that consist of multiple lines. Even if your business doesn’t use a fiber network, you’re benefiting from this technology, since these bundled “fiber trunk cables” are used as the primary structure for today’s internet, connecting internet exchange points (IXPs) that handle the system’s switching and routing. They can transmit information over the internet much faster than cable and other transfer methods. The fiber-optic cable consists of a glass fiber core and cladding, which is a protective layer of either plastic or glass that surrounds the core and contains the light signals, so they aren’t lost, which ensures the system’s consistently high speeds and reliability. The core and cladding work in tandem to create total internal reflection, which allows the light to move through the glass fibers without breaking free.

Optical Fibers vs. Coaxial Cable – How Do They Differ?

Optical fiber and coaxial cable are both used to transmit data, but the similarities end there. While optical fiber transmits signals with light, coax transmits signals electrically. Glass and plastic-based optical fibers offer high efficiency at a higher cost, while coax cable, made from plastics and copper wire, is less expensive but also less efficient. Coaxial cable is easier to install and implement than optical fiber, but it is highly immune to electrical noise interference. Coax cable has some immunity due to shielding, but optical fibers isn’t affected by electrical noise at all. Bandwidth, transmission speeds and data rates are far greater with fiber than they are with coaxial cable.

How is Fiber Different From Other Types of Internet?

Most internet types use electrical signals sent by copper cables, while fiber sends light through fiber-optic cables. While both cable internet and fiber internet can achieve high internet speeds, fiber provides equal download and upload speeds and greater bandwidth.

How do Transfer Speeds Compare for DSL, Cable and Fiber Internet?

For DSL, the maximum speed is approximately 100 Mbps. Cable internet typically reaches speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps. Fiber-optic internet can deliver upload and download speeds of up to 10 Gbps (gigabytes per second). This means that fiber is 10 times faster than cable and 100 times faster than DSL. Keep in mind that with DSL and cable, the upload speed will generally be far less than the download speed. For example, the upload speed for DSL is just five to 35 Mbps, while for cable, it’s 10 to 500 Mbps.

Is Fiber Internet Better Than Wi-Fi?

In a business setting, fiber is better than Wi-Fi. Data doesn’t degrade over a distance as it does with Wi-Fi. It’s easier to quickly scale bandwidth either up or down as your needs change. Fiber is also considered more secure.

What are the Benefits of Fiber for Internet Users?

Fiber internet provides many benefits, especially for business users. Greater bandwidth is required for companies that have many users, transfer large files, stream video, and conduct online video conferencing and webinars. Fiber is faster and more reliable.

What Your Company Can Do With a Fiber Internet Connection

Whether your company is a start-up or at an enterprise level, a slow internet connection can be a big problem. If your organization is experiencing difficulties with internet connectivity, upgrading to fiber provides the perfect solution. Having a robust fiber network gives companies the option to:

  • Add an unlimited number of users and devices to the network without having to worry about running out of bandwidth.

  • Regularly use cloud-based services with fast access for multiple users.

  • Allow remote workers to access company servers and upload large files.

  • Host your own eCommerce site on an in-house server.

  • Offer webinars and multimedia presentations to clients.

  • Perform regular backups to the cloud without slowing down other business operations.

  • Add new internet technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) assistants, chatbots and more to your public-facing website.

With a fiber upgrade, your organization will be ready for whatever the future brings in web-based innovation.

Why Choose WOW! Business for Your Business Internet

As a premier internet service provider, WOW! Business provides the fastest, most reliable fiber internet service for your company’s changing needs, so you can keep up with fast-moving technological advancements. You can choose Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), which delivers up to 10 Gbps speeds, or our Fiber Flex, which is a shared service that leverages the existing fiber connection at your location for the same high-quality connection at a lower price. We also offer static IPs and hosted VoIP, Ethernet Transport, a state-of-the-art data center that supports all your business applications, and unsurpassed customer service. To learn more about our fiber internet plans for your business and get started with faster, more reliable internet, contact us today. (Sources Used)